What Is Osteoporosis? What You Need to Know
How Can I Prevent Osteoporosis? continued...
Walking, jogging, playing tennis or racket sports, and dancing are all good weight-bearing exercises. In addition, strength and balance exercises help build stronger muscles and may help you avoid falls. This will decrease your chances of breaking a bone.
Increase calcium in your diet. Getting enough calcium throughout your life helps to keep bones strong. Experts recommend 1,000 milligrams each day for premenopausal women and 1,200 milligrams a day for postmenopausal women.
Excellent sources of calcium include:
- milk and dairy products (low-fat versions are recommended)
- canned fish with bones, such as salmon and sardines
- dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale, collards, and broccoli
- calcium-fortified orange juice
- breads made with calcium-fortified flour
You can get the recommended amounts of calcium by having four servings of calcium-rich foods each day. Good choices might include:
- yogurt made with low-fat milk or whole milk
- a selected serving of cheese, tofu, or milk
- a selected serving of fish or broccoli
- calcium-fortified juices, breads, and cereals
- calcium-fortified dairy products
Supplement your diet. If you do not get enough dietary calcium, ask your doctor about calcium supplements. Take a 300-milligram calcium supplement to replace each serving of calcium-rich foods you miss each day. Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are good forms of calcium supplements.
Get plenty of vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium. While being out in the sun 20 minutes each day helps your body get vitamin D, more research is showing that people may get too little of this vitamin, particularly in the wintertime. You can also get vitamin D from:
- fatty fish like salmon
- milk fortified with vitamin D
Guidelines from the Institute of Medicine call for increasing the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin D to 600 international units (IU) for everyone aged 1-70, and raising it to 800 IU for adults older than 70 to optimize bone health.